Morgan Sindall shown the door as new contractor for 4,000 social housing tenants across Fenland given hope of better service

Clarion Housing is under fire in Fenland because of major repairs problems to hot water and heating

Clarion Housing is under fire in Fenland because of major repairs problems to hot water and heating for its tenants - Credit: Archant

Besieged by complaints - one woman whose home is damp and cold said she had ‘screamed and cried ‘to get help – woke to news that Clarion Housing has sacked its heating and hot water repairs contractor for Fenland.

Morgan Sindall will be replaced from March 1 despite only having won the contract to look after more than 4,000 former council house tenants in Fenland last October.

The news was broken by the two district councillors who have borne the mantle of complaints from dozens of families left without heat and hot water in recent months.

Many tenants have been left freezing through some of the coldest days of winter and with temperatures set to fall again this week anger and frustration has set in.

Some complaints centred on failure by Clarion Housing to respond to complaints, failure by Morgan Sindall to keep appointments, and failure to provide sufficient engineers and with a line to parts to make urgent repairs.

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Marek Witko, Clarion’s regional director, said the contract with Morgan Sindall – that only began last October- had been terminated by mutual consent.

“It has now been mutually agreed by Clarion and Morgan Sindall Property Services that the current arrangements for these services will cease with effect from February 28,” said the director.

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“We have worked closely together to find the best solution for the Clarion Eastern region and our residents.”

A new contractor for the Fens – Swale -will be officered an interim contract to get the issues dealt with quickly. Two other contractors will replace Morgan Sindall in other parts of the country.

“These contractors already successfully work with Clarion to provide this service in some of these areas and elsewhere in the country,” says Clarion.

“Any servicing or repairs appointments already booked by Morgan Sindall Property Services for February are being actively managed to allow a smooth transition to the interim contractors.

“We are writing to our residents to explain the new arrangements and effective dates and to reassure them about what is happening.”

Clarion says the interim arrangement will last for approximately one year whilst a longer term solution is put in place.

The three interim contractors will arrange appointments directly with residents and take inquiries and repair calls through their own contact centres, all of which operate 24 hours a day. They will also be responsible for the planning and deployment of their operatives.

Clarion says the service will be monitored using standard KPI’s (key point indicators) and further tracked using an externally verified customer satisfaction survey.

“Both of these measures allow us to compare the service standards across all of Clarion and the wider sector,” says a statement by Clarion.

“The Clarion team managing the contract will also be involved in any complex cases and complaints and will have full oversight of performance in terms of service delivery and financial management of the service.”

Mr Witko has told councillors to contact him with any queries or issues.

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